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Airco D.H.2, by Aircraft Manufacturing Company

Main role: Fighter

Engine: 1 Gnome Monosoupape-rotary engine of 75 kW (100hp) (and later a 82 kW Rhône rotary)

Armament: 1 7.62 mm Lewis machinegun with 47-rounds discs)

Forming the equipment of the first British single-seat fighter squadron, the D.H.2 was introduced in 1916 as a sturdy biplane to counter the Fokker E-series. A pusher configuration was selected as the UK lacked a gun interrupter gear; the original mounting allowed elevation of the gun, but this was soon turned into a fixed mounting as pilots learned to aim the complete aeroplane at the target, using the highly responsive controls to wring the best performance out of this nimble machine. Production amounted to some 400 aircraft, and from spring 1916 the D.H.2 was instrumental in defeating the ‘Fokker Scourge’ and thereby giving the British air superiority. For lack of a replacement the type soldiered on into mid-1917. (Source: The International Encyclopedia of Aircraft, Oriole Publishing, 1991)

Span: 8.61 m (28.2 ft)

Length: 7.68 m (25 ft)

Height: 2.91 m (9.5 ft)

Wing surface: 23.13 m² (248.97 ft²)

Empty weight: 428 kg (943 lbs)

Max. weight: 654 kg (1442 lbs)


Cruise speed: 126 km/h (78 mph)

Max. speed: 150 km/h (93 mph)

Ceiling: 4265 m (13.993 ft)

Endurance: 2.75 hours

Climb rate: 

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